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Forum topic by SalvageCraft posted 03-07-2012 02:28 AM 1741 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SalvageCraft

274 posts in 1193 days


03-07-2012 02:28 AM

Topic tags/keywords: reclaimed pallet wood poll question resource upcycled recycled survey share

I’ve noticed an awful lot of pallet wood projects posted lately (3 on front page right now :). I am wondering if this is a growing trend, or if I’m just happening to notice these projects more. I like to think it means more people are “going green”, but I’m also just a hopeless optimist…

So, please share your responses to these 3 questions:

1. Do you make use of pallets/reclaimed/upcycled lumber in your work?
2. If so, is this a newer development for you? Something you might do more often?
3. What sources of reclaimed/upcycled/free wood can you recommend to the rest of us?

Thanks!

-- Jesse --


29 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5702 posts in 2095 days


#1 posted 03-07-2012 02:36 AM

1. yes, when I can find them
2. no, yes
3. ?

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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Ben

302 posts in 997 days


#2 posted 03-07-2012 02:40 AM

I work in architectural salvage. I use nearly all antique, reused and repurposed wood. Pretty much the only new parts I use in anything are nails and screws

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 1021 days


#3 posted 03-07-2012 02:42 AM

Well, I started using recycled lumber a long time ago, Yes I have some pallet projects but they are mostly just for me because the wood was free, and well I’ve never really finished them either.

Good sources are just about any store that doesn’t send their pallets back, but unfortunately most pallets will not have viable lumber in them, It will be too thin or too split or warped or whatever to really be useable, however every once in a while you’ll find one where they made it out of un-sellable mahogany or something of the like.

Another is old barns and old old houses that people are demolishing, it’s harder to catch those, but hey when you can it’s great.

You can also catch green lumber on the side of a road after a storm or when people take down trees or branches, you may have to let it set, but it can be worth picking it up and throwing it in the trunk.

The vast majority of my projects require pristine lumber so I don’t use salvaged lumber all the time, but the guy I’ve been working on projects for about the past oh four months for loves recycled heart pine so… Part of it even came out of his house!

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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Howie

2656 posts in 1590 days


#4 posted 03-07-2012 02:42 AM

1. Yes
2. Yes
3.?
With the price of wood nowadays I’ll use whatever I can get.

-- Life is good.

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geoscann

258 posts in 947 days


#5 posted 03-07-2012 02:45 AM

well after spending 300 dollars for some ruffsawn maple. I,am defiantly looking for wood anywhere i can find it. my brother brought me 3 oak pallets that have some real potential. i also have bought lumber from people that have barns that have fallen down. i got some realy nice lumber. just make sure you ask before going to the barns some people let you take it others charge for it but most of the time it a lot cheaper than from the mill.

-- BIG geo ---Occam,s razor The simplist answer is often correct

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SalvageCraft

274 posts in 1193 days


#6 posted 03-07-2012 02:46 AM

Regarding #3, here are a few of my own findings:
Pallets from flooring suppliers tend to be better quality, denser wood than pallets from places with lighter merchandise, say a department store or furniture outlet (true, in my experience).
I try to stay friendly with tree companies, and often get nice hardwoods that I can play with.
If you dress up like Roy Underhill and walk into a lumberyard with a camera crew and just start taking stuff, everyone will assume you are supposed to be there doing whatever you are doing (this might not be true).

-- Jesse --

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SalvageCraft

274 posts in 1193 days


#7 posted 03-07-2012 02:48 AM

I’ve also found a lot of great hard pine coming out of old houses that are being rehabbed.

-- Jesse --

View BerBer5985's profile

BerBer5985

427 posts in 1087 days


#8 posted 03-07-2012 02:52 AM

I own a flooring store and we get plenty of leftover pallets and hardwood flooring from jobs. The idea of taking something that most people would look at as trash and turning into something useful/beautiful is what I like about using pallet wood. You can pick up free wood and pallets from almost anywhere. Just ask around at some flooring stores, department stores like sears and kmart, etc. People usually throw them out.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One, www.qualitycarpetonecrofton.com

View Ben's profile

Ben

302 posts in 997 days


#9 posted 03-07-2012 02:59 AM

Most of the lumber that is in my shop now came from houses that have been demolished. To add to my earlier comment, I Cruise alleys on trash day a lot too. Wood from broken or unwanted furniture, along with hardware. Dumpsters can be good too, at remodel sites, thrift stores, furniture companies. I’m always on the lookout for stuff. Most of what I get from my work is pine, walnut and oak. I get a little maple and even mahogany too on occasion. I’ve been in attics of old houses and got a whole floor of 16-18” wide boards. That is rare, but it’s a heck of a score when I find it. I always get a call… “are you ok?” because the boss hears me holler :P

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

View boxcarmarty's profile

boxcarmarty

9346 posts in 1027 days


#10 posted 03-07-2012 03:12 AM

I used recycled wood at one time because I could get it for free. But after trashing a set of knife blades from a hidden nail, I decided it wasn’t worth it…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

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geoscann

258 posts in 947 days


#11 posted 03-07-2012 03:18 AM

the pallets for concrete blocks are usually very thick and oak or some kind of hardwood. My son has a metal detector it works great for cking for nails and staples.

-- BIG geo ---Occam,s razor The simplist answer is often correct

View Ben's profile

Ben

302 posts in 997 days


#12 posted 03-07-2012 03:19 AM

I think it’ll always be worth it. The wood I get to use is all old growth, tight grained and no new trees get harmed in the process. I’ve trashed a few blades on nails, but a metal detector has solved that problem. You can just use a regular hobby detector or one that was made for lumber. The dedicated lumber ones more precisely point out where the nail is though.

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

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SalvageCraft

274 posts in 1193 days


#13 posted 03-07-2012 03:19 AM

I use a metal detecting stud finder to be sure all the nails are out. But not always. A few months ago I put a fresh set of blades into my planer and was so excited so see how much better it would cut that I didn’t bother to look for the big honkin’ nail in the VERY FIRST board I fed into it…
Sometimes learning happens real quick!

-- Jesse --

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boxcarmarty

9346 posts in 1027 days


#14 posted 03-07-2012 03:22 AM

I had a little handheld, don’t know if the battery was weak or what, but it didn’t pick up this one…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View Ben's profile

Ben

302 posts in 997 days


#15 posted 03-07-2012 03:24 AM

That it does Jesse. Actually, lessons happen real quick, the learning…. not so much. hahaha

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

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